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Semiotics – Symbols and Signifiers – In Relation To Web Sites

by Russ Ward (@russcward) The screen shot of the Zemoga web page above has a great deal of semiotic information embedded in it even though the page has a very simple uncluttered appearance.

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by Russ Ward (@russcward)

The screen shot of the Zemoga web page above has a great deal of semiotic information embedded in it even though the page has a very simple uncluttered appearance.

The existence of the top level menu tell us that this is a navigation mechanism that will likely be encoded with content subject on other pages of the site.

The home page tab is a dark green to indicate it is selected. These are simple signifiers that users recognize as navigation directories.

The date time line provides a visual platform inference upon which other shapes sit as occurrences or events across the timeline. These semiotic elements support the contextualization of the communication which consists of text, images, signs and symbols.

In reality, few Web designs start with the notion of clearly mapping the users cognitive goal process from when the user sits down and types in a series of keywords. It is important user goals can be very clearly defined as whole constructs of keywords, images and design layout.

What is the Takeaway?
This idea of the cognitive construct that user has formed actually fuels their intent and subsequent decision to enter a landing page.

Effective search depends and traffic depends on:
A. The users cognitive construct around the subject.

B. The search return that matches the semantic search term construct the user started with in the search engine.

C.  The user cognition of the semantic and semiotic elements that exist within the site design once the user arrives on that page.
D. The users willingness to follow the information scent to the “call to action” based on what they see and read.
These are all valuable contributors to the page design that includes the semantic scent and semiotic design structures. If there are cognitive constructs that don’t match the users search construct (and if we have many other visual distractions) we make the user work hard to find what they were looking for.

By evaluating current design, mapping these elements and analyzing the process we can identify specific areas that might be modified.
The use of eyetracking in the (redesign / design) prototyping process allows design hypothesis to be verified.

Find out what  “meets your customer’s eye” to improve your web site performance.

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